Natural Family Planning

The unknown key to helping Infertile Women

By Bethanie Ryan

Infertility affects millions of women across the United States. These women often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to conceive and travel hundreds of miles to anywhere they think they can find help. But, did you know that the most effective tool in treating infertility was in your own body? Every menstrual cycle, your body is giving out a wealth of information about what is happening inside. All you need is the knowledge to listen and interpret what your body is saying.

Natural Family Planning (NFP) has long had a bad rap as “Catholic birth control.” Over the years, however, it has developed into a very sophisticated tool that can be used not only to postpone pregnancy, but also to achieve and maintain it.Natural Family Planning

All forms of NFP help the woman to translate what her body is saying, from fluctuations in her body temperature to the positioning of her cervix. The Creighton Model is one of the simplest, cheapest, and least invasive of the forms. All she needs is the knowledge and training to interpret the signs she sees daily during her regular hygiene routine. A female instructor will help her to recognize the changes in her body. Women who use this system say that they master the routine of checking these signs within a couple months of practice. It only adds a fraction of a second to your bathroom time.

How does this help with infertility? Many women struggling with infertility have used numerous tools to figure out when they are fertile, how is this method any different? As a woman charts her cycle using the Creighton Model, she learns key information related to her overall health and fertility. Not only does she get a better idea of when her own body is fertile (because every woman and every cycle is different), but also may receive valuable clues as to what hormones she may be deficient in or what underlying problem may be present. “This way of approaching the management of your health is beautiful,” says Dr. Dalton. It puts the couple in the driver’s seat. They are in charge of everything without chemicals and artificial methods getting in the way.

This approach helps doctors who are trained in this system, like Dr. Karen Dalton at the Gianna Center Syracuse, to pinpoint what may be wrong so she can order the correct blood tests and other exams saving you both time and money.

One example of this is: Fertility doctors will often order a sonogram to be given when they feel that a woman is ovulating so they can see if she is releasing any eggs. An NFP chart would give a trained doctor a better idea of when exactly this particular patient would be ovulating rather than making a guess based on the “average woman”. Dr. Karen Dalton said that she learned more about the women’s body while training for the Creighton Model than she ever did in traditional medical school.

NaPro Technology (the Creighton Model) has an almost 70% success rate after 2-3 years. Why 2-3 years? Because sometimes it takes that long for a woman’s hormones and cycle to become normal after being supplemented. Compare that to the 30% success rate per cycle of IVF and the more than $12,000 price tag. NFP charts and hormonal supplements cost a fraction of that amount.

Some women who are seeking help for infertility also have moral qualms against IVF. A NaPro trained physician or surgeon will not pressure a woman into IVF or any other form of assisted reproductive technology. If the underlying problem requires surgery, there are surgeons at nearby Gianna Center locations who are NaPro trained and will not compromise your reproductive system. Using NFP helps to determine the underlying cause of the infertility and works with the body, rather than alter the natural processes. Christina Reilly is one of many women who have been helped through this approach. She praises it, saying, “When I came to the Gianna Center, I experienced a different kind of care. I felt from the very beginning a deep passion and determination for finding the root cause of my infertility. That passion never faded throughout the past year and a half. From my very first visit, my NFP chart was looked at as a valuable medical document and used as a starting point and navigation device throughout my entire treatment.”

Her previous traditionally-trained physician had told her she had no choice but IVF. She is now about to give birth to her first child after the removal of endometriosis and medication to treat some inflammation.

The Creighton Model requires dedication from the woman in monitoring her physical signs and documenting them. In order for the NFP charting to help in diagnosing a problem, accuracy and consistency is encouraged. Dr. Dalton also encourages patients to keep themselves healthy through regular exercise and a healthy diet. Being in touch with your body is an invaluable gift. Even after achieving pregnancy, women should keep using this method as that information will help detect future reproductive and health related problems such as early signs of cancer. Instead of searching high and low for answers, women with infertility have another choice – listening to their own bodies.

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